Best Things to See and Do in Cancun, Mexico

Sunday December 27, 2009 at 6:06 PM | 1 Comment

"Grupo Norteno"

Grupo Norteno in El Mercado 28, Cancun, Mexico

Are you traveling to Cancun, Mexico for vacation? Below are helpful insider tips for things to see and do in Cancun. If you are on vacation, the first place you’ll probably want to check out is the beach.

When I crave Yucatan cusine, I turn to La Habichuela. This restaurant has been serving local specialities in downtown Cancun since 1977.

To escape work I walk on the beach at “Las Perlas beach” or go to “el Mirado.” These are public access beaches. You can park in a public lot and walk along the beach. The beach is kid and pet-friendly and is like a trip to the park.

For complete quiet, I can hide away at any Puerto Morelos beach for a day. For a weekend escape go to Tulum. A few minutes from downtown Cancun is Playa Blanca, the continental area of Isla Mujeres. This beach remains untouched and is where the locals go. There are a few “ceviche bars” to have cold beer (cervesa) and great “Tikinchik fish.”

If you come to Cancun, get your picture taken at “el Mirador” at Ballena’s Beach, right on the km 17 of the Kukulcan Blvd.

If you have to order one thing off the menu at Simply Seafood, get the Smoked Blue Marlin on a grilled crostini.

Cancun is my one stop shop for handcrafts, talavera pottery and silver. I had a chance to visit Mercado 28. Check out the YouTube video here.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I go to VIP’s restaurants. They have good hygiene standards, an international menu and a playground for kids.

For a huge splurge, I’d recommend Gustino at the JW Marriott Cancun. The restaurant specializes in Italian and seafood, but I had the rack of lamb and it was excellent.

Photo ops in Cancun include a trip to Chichen Itza or any back drop with a Riviera Maya beach.

The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of the Chicken-itza pyramid or at the top of the Coba pyramid.

"Nancy D. Brown Cancun"

Go horseback riding at Holkan Kingdom, Cancun, Mexico

The most random thing about Cancun is Holkan Kingdom. A 175 acre outdoor activity center offering ziplining, jet boating, atv riding and horseback riding all in one location. I went horseback riding in the Mayan jungle at Holkan Kingdom.

In Cancun, an active day outdoors involves walking or jogging through the hotel zone.

My favorite walking route is the circuit beginning at the km 20 until km 18 at the Ecological Reserve.

For a night of dancing, go to Cocobongo!

To find out what’s going on at night or on weekends, read Novedades de Quintana Roo or Cancunissimo Magazine.

You can tell a lot about Cancun from visiting the rural villages outside of Cancun.

In the spring you should attend the echinoid at Chichen Itza.

In the summer, from May to mid-October, you can volunteer to help protect the sea turtles and their eggs.

In the fall you should visit Viva Mexico for month long September activities.

In the winter you might want to swim with whale sharks.

A hidden gem in Cancun is Kabah Ecological Park, located on the heart of Cancun’s downtown. It has a museum featuring the very first images of this destination. It also has a garden and health circuit for exercising.

For a great breakfast treat or espresso, go to Italian Coffee.

Just outside of Cancun you can visit Puerto Morelos. Have lunch at Los Pelicanos restaurant; a traditional beach front restaurant serving some of the best ceviche in the area.


See a Crocodile in Cancun, Mexico

The best way to see Cancun is to take public transportation as distances are quite long and the weather can be quite hot during some seasons.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the interactive aquarium at “Plaza La Isla” or Crococun Zoo; a crocodile reserve just a few minutes away from Cancun.

What are your favorite things to do in Cancun, Mexico?

Thank you to Marina Calunga, Director of Marketing at JW Marriott Cancun for assistance with this post.

Photos and YouTube video  courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of JW Marriott Cancun and Holkan Kingdom.

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Mayan Spa in Cancun, Mexico

Horseback Riding in Cancun, Mexico

Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer – Travel Gear Review

Wednesday December 23, 2009 at 7:07 AM | 3 Comments

Tom Bihn Check Point Flyer

Tom Bihn Check Point Flyer Laptop Case Review

You’re late for the airport. Fortunately you are a smart, well organized traveler. You travel carry-on; so no lost luggage on this trip. However, you are traveling with your laptop and removing the computer from the carrying case to clear TSA (Transportation Security Administration) will slow you down.

Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer Bag

Enter the Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer “checkpoint friendly” laptop bag to save the day. With this computer bag, it is no longer necessary to remove your computer for TSA security screening. The tri-fold bag lays flat on the conveyor belt with the molded foam shell safely protecting your laptop.


Durable Design – Easy to Carry

Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Case

Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Case

The Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer bag has pockets galore; which makes this frequent flyer happy. Two zippered front pockets can accommodate a Kindle or guidebook, while the third section surrounds the laptop compartment. This outside bag has two open slide pockets; perfect for holding boarding passes and passports. The larger pocket can accommodate several magazines.

The roomy interior of the zippered section can easily accommodate power cords, laptop chargers, a purse and a separate pouch, designed for carrying your three oz. liquids. Named the 3D Clear Organizer cube, the pouch fits neatly into one of two inside pockets.

My only complaint with this extremely durable and well-made travel gear is the $30 additional charge for the Absolute shoulder strap. At $220, this laptop bag is an investment, and as such, it should include the durable nylon webbing and comfortable neoprene padded carrying strap.

The Tom Bihn company is located in Seattle, Washington. You can follow the social media savvy company on Twitter, learn about special Facebook offers, or read their company blog.

What are your favorite travel products?

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Lost Luggage Tips

Bloggers in Paradise, Cancun, Mexico

Saturday December 19, 2009 at 1:01 PM | 2 Comments

Posted by Nancy D. Brown

JW Marriott Resort & Spa Cancun, Mexico

Hola, estoy en Cancun, Mexico at the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa. I’m a guest of the resort as part of a “Nine Bloggers in Paradise” trip. Marriott has nine different resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean and they invited nine travel bloggers to experience the resort and tweet about their impressions. A clever idea, indeed.

The resorts are offering several limited time offer specials. Cancun Resort and Spa guests receive 40% off Club 91 rates. That’s a good deal for families, because Club 91, a ”boutique hotel” within the resort, offers familes numerous small meal options included with the price. The Spa is also offering several packages during the holidays.

The Pumpkin Package includes a 25 minute back, neck and shoulder massage, in addition to a 50 minute pumpkin facial for $155 USD. The Xocoatl Package starts with a 50 minute Swedish massage with chocolate oil, followed by a 25 minute facial, also for $155 USD. Spa Director Wdson Brum has put together a wonderful spa experience; there’s even a kid’s and teen spa menu available.

Still undecided where to go for the holidays? Visit the “Shake Up Paradise” website – click on the resort of our choce, shake the snow globe and your special offer will appear.

Follow me on Twitter for my tweets, pictures and YouTube videos of the trip. All nine bloggers will be tweeting throughout the trip using the hashtag #BlogParadise. If you’d like to check out where the other eight bloggers are headed, follow the links to their blogs shown below:

Barbara Weibel is at Marriott’s Curacao Beach Resort and Emerald Casino. (Thanks for putting this list together, Barbara)
Blog: Hole In The Donut Twitter: @holeinthedonut

Lisa Overman is checking out Aruba Renaissance Resort
Blog: Twitter: @islandstyle29

Aaron Hotfelder is discovering the Aruba Marriott Resort
Blog: Twitter: @aaronhotfelder

Pam Mandel is taking photographs at  Casa Magna Cancun Resort in Mexico
Blog: Twitter: @nerdseyeview

Chris Gray is on St. Kitts Marriott
Blog: Twitter: @caroundtheworld

Robin Locker landed at Grand Cayman Marriott Resort
Blog: Twitter: @mymelange

Julie Schwietert is at Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Blog: Twitter: @collazoprojects

Charyn Pfeuffer is tweeting from CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa in Mexico
Blog: Twitter: @global_gourmet

Adios, Cancun, Mexico y muchas gracias por un buen tiempo. By the way, the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa is also on Twitter.

Goodbye, Cancun, Mexico and many thanks for a good time.

What are your favorite things to do in Cancun, Mexico?

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Things to Do in Cancun, Mexico

JW Marriott’s Resort & Spa, Cancun, Mexico